By ZACH GREENWELL The Daily News email@example.com 783-3239
Allen County-Scottsville’s disastrous start was Greenwood’s gain Friday night.
Five of the Patriots’ first seven drives resulted in turnovers, and the Gators (1-1) converted each of those miscues into a touchdown in a 49-14 rout at GHS.
“I thought our defense played great again tonight,” Greenwood coach Chris Seabolt said.
“That’s two weeks in a row that they’ve come out and done a good job, particularly early on. They just kind of set the tone for the night.”
Greenwood forced three lost fumbles and two interceptions in the first half, returning two of those fumbles for scores – including a 100-yarder by GHS sophomore defensive back Malcolm Johnson.
Senior defensive lineman Spencer Windham also had a 34-yard fumble recovery TD, and the Gators found the end zone on each of the possessions following the other turnovers after taking over in ACS territory.
Greenwood’s defense stood tall last week in the opener against Madisonville-North Hopkins, but the offense fell short in a 13-9 defeat.
“We came out and wanted to be big on defense,” Windham said. “We wanted to make a statement, and that’s kind of what we did, I guess. (Last week’s loss) angered us because we wanted to win, but we couldn’t. We just didn’t get it done last week.”
The Gators got it done in week two with an active defense.
ACS freshman quarterback Chase Wilson threw an interception on the game’s first play, and Greenwood senior QB Ryan Hawkins capped a seven-play drive with a 6-yard TD run.
The Patriots fumbled two plays into the next drive at their own 25. Greenwood junior fullback Aaron Smith punched it in on a 6-yard run two plays later.
Windham and Johnson followed with their defensive touchdowns, sandwiched around a 1-yard score by Hawkins after an ACS interception.
The Patriots’ other two possessions in the rocky start ended with a punt and a turnover on downs.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve seen people score on us, and we’ve turned it over about every way imaginable,” ACS coach Brad Hood said. “It’s time to throw in our cards, and just get over that and keep on moving. We’ve got to keep working and trying hard.
“We’ve got to figure out the formula we need to be successful, and we can’t quit until we find it.”
Up 35-0, the Gators threatened the running clock mandated by the KHSAA with a 36-point lead until ACS’ Wilson answered with two touchdown runs before the break.
The freshman, who started for the first time last week after junior QB Jessie Bow suffered a torn patella tendon in his knee in a preseason scrimmage, scored on a 15-yard run to make it 35-7 with 3:41 left in the half.
After a lost fumble by Greenwood, Wilson scampered into the end zone again with 52 seconds left on an 8-yard run to trim his team’s deficit to 35-14.
The Gators outgained ACS 152-68 before the break, but the sloppy end to the half left a bad taste in Seabolt’s mouth.
“I can’t tell you all that,” Seabolt said of what he told the players at halftime. “It was not a pretty locker room, though.”
Neither team budged in the third quarter until a bad ACS punt set up Greenwood at the Patriots’ 39-yard line. Smith needed just one play to break his second touchdown of the game.
Junior running back Noah Pillow capped the Gators’ scoring with 4:42 left with a 13-yard TD run, but not before they recorded their sixth turnover of the game on senior defensive back’s Will Adams’ second interception.
Greenwood finished with 263 yards, including 220 on the ground. Smith rushed for 82 yards, while Hawkins racked up 53 yards under center in the veer offense.
The Gators host cross-town rival South Warren next week.
“It felt good to finally get a victory after being so close last week,” Hawkins said. “We’ve got a couple monsters on defense. We took care of ourselves tonight, and it all worked out.”
Wilson finished 8 of 13 passing for 72 yards and three interceptions for ACS, along with his two TDs on the ground.
Six players recorded a reception for the Patriots, who host Marshall County next week.
“They haven’t retreated to making bad decisions,” Hood said. “They’re still trying hard, and as long as we can keep that up, who knows? Maybe we can turn this thing around.”
ACS 0 14 0 0 – 14
GHS 14 21 7 7 – 49
GHS – Hawkins 6 run (South kick), 9:16
GHS – A. Smith 6 run (South kick), 8:02
GHS – Sp. Windham 34 fumble recovery (South kick), 10:16
GHS – Hawkins 1 run (South kick), 8:13
GHS – M. Johnson 100 fumble recovery (South kick), 7:01
ACS – Wilson 15 run (Cox kick), 3:41
ACS – Wilson 8 run (Cox kick), 0:52
GHS – A. Smith 39 run (South kick), 3:53
GHS – Pillow 13 run (South kick), 4:42